Despite showing clear promise and being a tremendous upgrade compared to earlier BlackBerry software, BlackBerry 10 didn’t receive the warmest welcome when it was unveiled earlier this week. At least one leading market research firm thinks BlackBerry (RIMM) has done enough to gain some good traction in 2013, however. ABI Research released new estimates this week projecting that the BlackBerry 10 installed base will reach 20 million by the end of 2013. The firm also says Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone platform, which struggled to garner interest in its early days, will see its installed base climb to 45 million by the end of the year.
“2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry,” ABI analyst Aapo Markkanen said. “For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets to show for it.”
According to ABI, these figures will be “enough to keep developers interested” as the two companies battle for the No.3 spot in the smartphone war.
“The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success. Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game,” Markkanen noted. “It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers’ interest in mind while designing and rolling out their platforms.”